Ashley Barrow, Friedel’s new Director of Learning Initiatives, is a familiar face around school. Mrs. Barrow, who has a bachelor’s degree in Education with an Early Childhood Endorsement and a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, is in her eleventh year at Friedel.

In her new position, Mrs. Barrow is adding to her existing roles of teaching students’ weekly innovation learning classes and serving as the school librarian. Now, Mrs. Barrow also is helping the school develop new programs that enhance the student experience. After training in these programs, Mrs. Barrow is training other staff so they can be implemented in the classrooms.

Her favorite new program is Friedel’s Compost Club. As part of this effort, Mrs. Barrow has trained the “Green Team,” fifth and sixth graders who help the younger students compost food waste, paper towels, and lunch containers. Mrs. Barrow says the Compost Club is meaningful to her “because keeping compostable waste out of landfills will begin to save our Earth for generations to come.”

Another project Mrs. Barrow is leading is Friedel’s No Place for Hate Committee and Books Matter Program. No Place for Hate and Books Matter are ADL programs aimed at creating inclusive school cultures and preventing bias and bullying. As Friedel’s coordinator, Mrs. Barrow works with a student committee to plan activities for the whole school. For instance, Mrs. Barrow recently used the book Same, Same, Different as part of Library lessons, and fifth and sixth graders led an all-school discussion about how we are the same and how we are different from our schoolmates.

Mrs. Barrow is also proud of her role in helping start a new standardized testing program, a vertical garden, a mileage club, staff dress up days, and a new spin on healthy habits week.  Mrs. Barrow’s favorite thing about working at Friedel, however, is not just one program. Rather, she loves how tight knit the school community is. She says, “I don’t think it’s typical for a teacher to know everyone's first and last name in a school and recognize parents at pick up and drop off,” but at Friedel, all the teachers do.

We can’t wait to see what Mrs. Barrow does next!